This position is one hundred percent consistent with Starbucks’s visible commitment to diversity and inclusion---a policy that permeates every sphere of Starbucks. The people who work there, the people who consume coffee and food there, the people who sit for hours working, socializing, and sometimes just having a place to go.
Starbucks is the place to find solitude and companionship. Starbucks is where people go to write their books, find their mates, launch their new businesses, plan their divorces, celebrate their promotions and victories, and to cry with their friends.
When my marriage needs a little pick-me-up, we head to the movies and Starbucks….After all, we can do both in the 3 hours that comprises the amount of time that the baby will stay with a non-family member. There is magic at Starbucks. Low lights, nice seating, bits and pieces of Italian floating around, lending an aura of romance and adventure to the occasion.
Right now, I have friends for whom Starbucks is the staging area for major events, unfolding life changes, and burgeoning careers. One friend is writing a play. She is diligent, relentless, and remarkably talented. She is also caffeinated. On any given day, she is writing her 20 pages, blogging successfully, and generally being a good friend to me and her other friends.
Another friend is running a small business amidst an intense family challenge that is occurring in the background and greatly challenging her family’s emotional resources. She is prevailing, tending gently an determinedly to the needs of her family, and restoring herself and her sense of well-being over cups of coffee and a nice window seat.
Starbucks represents the site of many different, often intersecting, vibrant communities---and being part of a tight-knit community can lead to better health and a longer life. A 10-year study found that older people with a large circle of friends were 22% less likely to die during the study period. Another study, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in 2006, looked at what happened to 2,835 nurses with breast cancer based on their social networks. Compared with women with strong social networks, women who were socially isolated were 66% more likely to die (from any cause) and twice as likely to die from breast cancer.
On any given day, I know that I can walk into Starbucks and run into my friends, either alone, with each other, or with their kids. We can work. We can play. We can hang out with our kids….all over a cup of coffee.